Places To Visit - Ancient Monuments

The Island’s landscape is rich in ancient monuments. From Viking burial sites to the earliest stone Celtic stone crosses and Neolithic tombs.

Isle of Man Carved Stone Cross Collection

Since the 6th century AD carved stone crosses have served as grave markers and memorial stones. You will find many examples in the churches and churchyard ‘cross shelters’ around the Island.  You will also find replicas of some of the stones, an illustrated database of all 200 of the crosses at the Manx Museum.

The earliest stones carry Celtic designs and inscriptions using an early Celtic script called Ogham. You can see most of these early crosses in the shelter at Kirk Maughold.

Norse sculptors decorated their crosses with both Christian icons and images from their own pagan mythology. You will see examples of Norse crosses in parish churches of Andreas, Bride, Maughold, Malew, Marown, Jurby, Michael and the former parish churches at Ballaugh Cronk and Old Kirk Braddan.

Andreas Crosses

Balladoole

One of the most significant historic monument sites in the Manx landscape. At various time it was used for habitation, defence and burial and discoveries include:

  • 10th century AD Viking boat burial
  • A keeill (chapel)
  • Early Christian lintel graves
  • Prehistoric flints
  • Bronze Age burials
  • Iron Age earthworks

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Cronk ny Merriu

The rugged coastline of Santon is home to several cliff top fortifications. At Cronk ny Merriu, these consist of;

  • An Iron Age rampart and ditch defending a rocky promontory
  • A Norse style building and layout which once stood here as part of a system of coastal lookout posts

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The Braaid

The countryside looking over Glen Vine contains an example of an abandoned farmstead comprising of;

  • An Iron Age round house
  • Two Norse long houses
  • Iron Age buildings and Viking styles that were used together and survive today

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St. Michaels Isle

At the entrance of Derbyhaven Bay is St. Michael’s Isle, a rocky island from the Mesolithic period. Discoveries include:

  • St Michael’s Chapel (originated in the twelfth century)
  • Derby Fort (dates from 1645 and was an update of an earlier 1540 fort by James, 7th Earl of Derby)

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St Michael's

Meayll Hill near Cregneash

Discoveries include:

  • Neolithic passage grave with 6 pairs of burial chambers arranged in a circle
  • Evidence of occupation from the Neolithic to Medieval times

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Cashtal yn Ard

Cashtal yn Ard meaning ‘Castle of the Height’ in Manx, is a well-preserved Neolithic chambered tomb giving views across Maughold and across the sea to Cumbria. Although the stone cairn has been stripped away over the past centuries the largest, well set stones have survived creating a dramatic burial site.

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